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The Valley of Lost Secrets
By Lesley Parr
Published By

Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN 9781526620521
Children's Genre yrs 9-11
Publication Date 01/01/2021
Price 6.99
Paperback Hyperlink https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/valley-of-lost-secrets-9781526620521
Ebook Hyperlink https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/valley-of-lost-secrets-9781526620507


When Jimmy is evacuated to a small village in Wales, it couldn’t be more different from London.

But then he finds a skull hidden in a tree, and suddenly the valley is more frightening than the war. Who can Jimmy trust? His brother is too little; his best friend has changed.

Authors Biography

Lesley Parr grew up in South Wales and now lives in England. She shares her time between writing stories, teaching at a primary school and tutoring adults. Lesley graduated with distinction from Bath Spa University’s MA in Writing for Young People. The Valley of Lost Secrets is her first novel.


‘Parr’s accessible writing and engaging plot is very much aimed at modern pre-teens. It teeters thrillingly on the edge of scary, and covers serious topics like relationships, bullies, prejudices and religion without sounding preachy’ Bristol Post

‘This appealing book is about losses healed, lies uncovered, cruelty defeated and goodness rewarded’ The Sunday Times

Leave a comment about this book:


  1. Amazing poignant, beautifully described adventure in Wales during WW2. The power of siblings and friendship. Wonderful, classic middle-grade story.

  2. Even though this is a book for children, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I got lost in the story from the 1st page until the last. Extremely well written and obviously well researched. I cannot wait for Lesleys 2nd book to be published. I have already pre ordered it for its release in January 2022!

  3. This book was such an utter joy to read. Powerful. Poignant. Unforgettable. And beautifully written. Pure gold from start to finish.

  4. Truly fabulous book, so well written and draws you in to the lives of the characters immediately. A definite winner!

  5. Beautifully told, this book reminded me why adults should aways make time to read kids’ fiction. A modern classic with so much heart.

  6. Marvellous book that manages to be strong and empowering and subtle all at the same time. Brilliant storytelling, vivid characters, and an empathy for adults as well as children that is never once sentimental. Bravo!

  7. This was a charming book to read, it gave a sense of history showing the hardships evacuated children experienced alongside adventure and excitement. But it was especially poignant for me as my dad who was called Ronnie (the name of the younger brother in the book) was also evacuated to south Wales.

  8. I loved reading this book with its beautiful welsh landscapes, charming characters and captivating story. Every character has been written to engage the reader. The story has the makings of a classic and feels timeless. Highlighting friendship and love, loss and belonging, it’s a gripping tale with a mystery at its centre. It was Jimmy’s journey to acceptance that truly warmed me most.

  9. I couldn’t put this book down once I began reading. I found it very moving in places and I thought it dealt with some complex situations in a way that many young people would find enlightening. As a teacher, I have seen many pupils also being gripped by it.

  10. This book is a shaping up to be a modern classic. Lesley Parr captures both pathos and ultimately some of the joy of being an evacuee in this wonderful story set in the South Wales valleys. It has a contemporary voice but is reflective of the Welsh community in which it’s set. Excellent

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